If you are eligible to benefit from the Motability Scheme and therefore entitled to a mobility lease car to make life easier, then you may still have plenty of questions before you take the plunge. One of the main ones we are routinely asked is how disabled mobility cars can be used. This short post aims to answer that for you.
The purpose of the mobility car hire scheme is to help disabled people become more mobile and access opportunities, places and resources they would not otherwise have been able to. It aims, in short, to enhance the quality of the individual’s life. It stands to reason, then, that any mobility car leased under the scheme must be used primarily for the benefit of the disabled person who has applied for the vehicle. Does this mean that you, as the individual with the disability, must be able to drive? Not necessarily. If you’re eligible for the scheme because of the allowances you receive, then it’s entirely possible to nominate others who will drive on your behalf. Up to two named drivers can be added to the car’s insurance, and they can drive for you. If you wish, a third named driver can be added, although this will incur an additional charge. The main criteria for who can be added as a named driver of mobility vehicles awarded under the Motability Scheme are that, of course, they must have an up-to-date, valid UK driving licence; and they must usually live within five miles of your home address.
If they live apart from you or further away, because you live in a residential home for instance, then Motability may consider fitting a location tracker to the mobility lease car, to ensure it is being used mainly for your benefit. In practice, this does not mean that you as the disabled person must be in the car on every trip. It is perfectly reasonable to expect the car to be used for other journeys, so long as they are related to your well-being. Your carer, parent or friend – or whoever the nominated drivers may be – are permitted to go shopping for you, to drive to pick you up and so on. But misuses of the vehicle might include lending it to others, using it for business purposes such as a delivery vehicle, or selling the disability mobility car on. And naturally, you must keep Motability informed of any changes that might affect the use of the vehicle. If one of your named drivers is banned from driving, for example, or you wish to change or add to the nominations, it’s important to tell the Scheme operators as soon as possible.
Motability takes any abuse of the Scheme very seriously and will investigate complaints brought to their attention in conjunction with the police and Department of Work and Pensions if necessary. While genuine misunderstandings do occur, it is always best to check out the terms and conditions of the scheme and abide by them as closely as possible when taking possession of and using your mobility lease car.